Susanna and Ensemble neoN Share “Oh, I Am Stuck,” New Song Off The Forester, out September 17th on SusannaSonata

Norwegian songwriter, vocal interpreter and producer Susanna has been active for more than a decade releasing eight albums under the names Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, Susanna, and Susanna Wallumrød. Known for her own songwriting and her highly personal interpretations of other people’s songs, including Dolly Parton, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Joy Division, Scott Walker, and KISS, Susanna is an intensely arresting performer, holding audiences captive with her hypnotizing vocal timbre and the powerful, all consuming sound of her band. Her forthcoming album and first full-length release on her own label, SusannaSonata, is The Forester, a co-production with the Norwegian contemporary music group, Ensemble neoN. Featuring new arrangements of new and already released songs by Susanna, The Forester captures her composition, and all the nuances of her distinctive voice in neoN’s deceptively simple chamber-folk tapestry, combining the antique notes of the Baroque theorbo, woodwinds and strings, and Susanna’s sparse piano. The result is in an eerily exquisite canvas that recalls Mark Hollis, Tim Buckley, Kate Bush and Claude Debussy while remaining uniquely Susanna’s soundworld. Today, Susanna shares a glimpse of this soundworld via The Forester’s “Oh, I Am Stuck,” of which she says, “The feeling of being stuck in a situation is such a frustrating state of mind, but also a quite fascinating process to try and break the circle – right at the point where the paralyzation starts vanishing and the will to break loose sets in.”

LISTEN TO/SHARE SUSANNA AND ENSEMBLE NEON’S “OH, I AM STUCK” –

SUSANNA TOUR DATES:
Sun. Sep. 22 — Giovanna Pessi/Susanna Wallumrød ‘If Grief Could Wait’ @ Konvergencie Festival, St. Martin’s Cathedral Bratislava, SK
Tue. Sep. 24 — Giovanna Pessi/Susanna Wallumrød ‘If Grief Could Wait’ @ Düsseldorf Festival Maxhaus, Düsseldorf, DE
Wed. Oct. 2 — Susanna sings Gunvor Hofmo @ Josefine Vertshus, Oslo, NO
Thu. Oct. 3 — Susanna sings Gunvor Hofmo @ Høstscena Festival, Ålesund, NO
Fri. Oct. 4 — Susanna sings Gunvor Hofmo @ Bergen Bibliotek, Bergen, NO
Sat. Oct. 5 — Susanna sings Gunvor Hofmo @ Musikkavdelinga, Trondheim, NO
Sat. Oct. 12 — Susanna @ Jazz & the City, Salzburg, AT
Fri. Oct. 18 — Susanna and Ensemble neoN release concert @ Victoria National Jazzscene, Oslo, NO
Fri. Nov. 15 — Giovanna Pessi/Susanna Wallumrød @ Kulturforum Fürth, Nürnberg, DE
Sun. Nov. 17 — Susanna (matiné concert at 11:00) @ Handelsbeurs Theatre, Gent, BE
Sun. Nov. 17 — Giovanna Pessi/Susanna Wallumrød @ Handelsbeurs Theatre, Gent, BE

****************************

“Who knew starkly profound morbidity could sound so gorgeous?” — Pitchfork

“[Susanna’s] simplicity can be considered studied. In a way, the song isn’t even a showcase for lyrics as much as it is the timbres of the human voice, and the minute sonic space between the harmonies.” – Ad Hoc

“limpid-voiced, open-hearted, musically idiosyncratic and touched with mystery.” – The New York Times

“Beautiful, spare, hypnotic.” – MOJO

“Wallumrød sings with dazzling clarity and exquisite patience, shaping melodies with care and sensitivity and tightly controlling her emotional engagement with the material. . . ” – Chicago Reader

new Dismemberment Plan song – “Invisible” – out today

The Dismemberment Plan, the groundbreaking and influential indie rock four-piece, have revealed “Invisible,” the second song off of Uncanney Valley (out 10/15), the group’s first album of new music in 12 years. Says Stereogum, “It’s about moving to a city where nobody knows your name, the fear and the ecstasy of the experience, and it’s beautiful.”

Fans both old and new can catch The Dismemberment Plan on tour this fall, playing festival dates including Riot Fest (Chicago and Denver), Laneway Festival (Detroit), and Fun Fun Fun Fest (Austin) as well as clubs in major cities including New York, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The full list of tour dates is below.

In 2003, if you told the members of The Dismemberment Plan that ten years later they would not only be releasing a new album, but their best record to date, there’s no way they would have believed you. Since forming in Washington, D.C. in 1993, the band has released four highly acclaimed full-lengths, toured the world many times over, and become one of the most well respected-and indefinable-acts in indie rock. But the past decade has seen their members exploring other areas both inside and outside of music, and even embracing adulthood. However, along the way something funny happened: They reunited three years ago to play some shows to support the reissue of 1999’s Emergency & I, and realized their most potent magic had yet to be bottled.

Uncanney Valley was recorded by longtime collaborator J. Robbins (Jawbreaker, The Promise Ring) at his Baltimore Studio, Magpie Cage, produced by Jason Caddell and The Dismemberment Plan, and mixed by Paul Q. Kolderie (Pixies, Radiohead), and the result is an album that maintains The Dismemberment Plan’s unique sound while simultaneously allowing them to open up and expand on the foundation of their celebrated back catalog.

This spirit of collaboration paired with the members’ diverse taste and life experiences are what make Uncanney Valley such an enthralling listen-and although the group remains unsure what the future holds for them, the most important thing right now is that they exist here in the moment. Ultimately, whether the members are controlling robots on a space station or performing live with an enthusiasm that transcends age, The Dismemberment Plan are a special band, and Uncanney Valley solidifies that as times change and tides shift, this will always hold true.

Tour Dates:
9/14 – Detroit, MI – Laneway Festival
9/15 – Chicago, IL – Riot Fest
9/21-22 – Denver, CO – Riot Fest
10/18 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
10/19 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
10/20 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11/2 – Boston, MA – Paradise
11/3 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
11/9 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
11/8-10 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
12/7 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune Theatre*
12/8 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom*
12/10 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore*
12/12 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre*

* denotes w/ Telekinesis

Tracklisting:
1. No One’s Saying Nothing
2. Waiting
3. Invisible
4. White Collar White Trash
5. Living in Song
6. Lookin’
7. Daddy Was a Real Good Dancer
8. Mexico City Christmas
9. Go and Get It
10. Let’s Just Go to the Dogs Tonight

New Temples Single, “Keep In The Dark,” & Catch Them On First North American Tour This Fall

“Temples specialize in ’60s-washed psychedelia, blending anemic vocals and shaggy melodies into a wonderfully murky swirl.” – SPIN

“‘Colours To Life’ adeptly balances both their idols’ folk-pop roots and psych-rock branches . . . It’s an unearthing of a time capsule for sure, but ‘Colours To Life’ still can feel like a breath of fresh air.” – Pitchfork

“Their first single and calling card is last year’s ‘Shelter Song’, a jerky earworm of a 12-string guitar riff with a loping rhythm section, elegantly rough-hewn with vocals rendered in ’60s-style tinny sonic relief. . . ‘Colours To Life’ . . . found them foregrounding its spectral keyboards and pushing into increasingly expansive terrain.” – The Quietus

Kettering, England, psychedelic-pop band Temples introduced themselves to North American audiences last month via the “Shelter Song”/”Colours to Life” 7,” out now on Fat Possum. Today, the four-piece share a new 60s inspired, end-of-summer jam, the immediately endearing “Keep In The Dark,” and announce their first North American tour! Recorded and produced by the band in their own Pyramid Studio and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer, “Keep In The Dark” is now available Fat Possum, featuring the b-side “Jewel Of Mine Eye.” In the meantime, check out the song’s new video, directed by Abbie Stephens and produced by Creature of London. Following the release of “Keep In The Dark,” Temples’ James Baghaw (vocals, guitar), Tom Warmsley (bass, backing vocals), Sam Toms (drums)and Adam Smith (keys) will make their way stateside for a 10-day Midwest and East Coast run in November showing North American audiences firsthand, this young, production-obsessed band can equally deliver on stage as on record.

“one of the brightest new lights of the current psych scene” – NME

“Temples deftly combine the vintage with the modern. ‘Shelter Song’ pulls off the sort of sonic alchemy that makes psych-rock fans’ ears perk up: Crackling drums, kaleidoscopic guitars and keyboards, and syrupy vocals that reference The Twilight Zone.” – MTV Hive [“The 10 Best Indie-Rock Tracks of July”]

TEMPLES TOUR DATES:
Mon. Nov. 18 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Tue. Nov. 19 – Detroit, MI @ The Loving Touch
Wed. Nov. 20 – Toronto, ON @ The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
Thu. Nov. 21 – Montreal, PQ @ Le Petit Campus
Fri. Nov. 22 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Sat. Nov. 23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Mon. Nov. 25 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Tue. Nov. 26 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
Wed. Nov. 27 – Washington, DC @ DC9

Fri. Aug 23 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival 2013
Sat. Aug. 24 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival 2013
Sun. Aug. 25 – Paris, FR @ Rock en Seine 2013
Fri. Sep. 13 – Port Meirion, UK @ Festival Number 6 2013
Sat. Sep. 14 – Portsmouth, UK @ Southsea Festival 2013
Wed. Sep. 25 – Frankfurt, DE @ Zoom
Thu. Oct. 3 – Guildford, UK @ Boileroom
Fri. Oct. 4 – Norwich, UK @ Norwich Arts Center
Sat. Oct. 5 – Leicester, UK @ O2 Academy 2 Liverpool
Tue. Oct. 8 – Sheffield, UK @ Queens Social Club
Wed. Oct. 9 – Glasgow, Uk @ King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Thu. Oct. 10 – Edinburgh, UK @ Electric Circus
Fri. Oct. 11 – Carlisle, UK @ The Brickyard
Sat. Oct. 12 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK @ Reds Bar
Mon. Oct. 14 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Tue. Oct. 15 – Liverpool, UK @ The Kazimier
Wed. Oct. 16 – Nottingham, UK @ The Bodega Social Club
Thu. Oct. 17 – York, UK @ The Duchess
Thu. Oct. 17 – Sun. Oct. 20 – Cardiff, UK @ Swn Festival 2013
Sat. Oct. 19 – Oxford, UK @ Gathering 2013
Mon. Oct. 21 – Brighton, UK @ Komedia Brighton
Tue. Oct. 22 – Exeter, UK @ Exeter Phoenix
Wed. Oct. 23 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Thu. Nov. 14 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Gorilla
Fri. Nov. 15 – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
Sat. Nov. 30 – Sun. Dec. 1 – Tokyo, JP @ Hostess Club Weekender 2013

Ell V Gore Premieres ‘Her Vicious’ Video and tour dates With Dirty Beaches

If Ell V Gore’s Sex Static sounds to you like it was made by four weirdos you’d meet at a pitch black, late night bizarre sex party beating their instruments half to death…well, that’s because it was. Toronto’s Ell V Gore is the project of 24 year old Ell V who has been playing in weirdo punk and no wave bands for the past decade. He is also a man known around town for throwing some of the freakiest late-night parties in the city (when he isn’t manning the microphone at strip clubs in between for cash). Sex Static, their debut EP on Bad Actors, is an industrial punk rock beat-down. It is a visceral, dark, and loud late night album that sounds like Chairs Missing era Wire and The Birthday Party being filtered through a kaleidoscope of 90 shades of black and grey. Known around the city for their stunningly intense live show, the experience has translated well to record. The rhythm section is tight and malicious, the guitars and synthesizers scrape, scratch, and scream, and Ell V’s controlled Lux Interior-esque howl bounces off walls with the guttural intensity of Michael Gira. Weirdos, freaks, and late night delinquents – your party has begun.

About Bad Actors:

Bad Actors is a Toronto based boutique record label focused on bringing you the best from the next generation of the city’s best songwriters, bands, producers, and beat makers. The label is headed by Ben Cook aka Young Guv, a member of Fucked Up, and the brains behind several of Toronto’s most loved and respected musical acts including: No Warning, Yacht Club, Marvelous Darlings, and The Scuzz. His résumé also includes: starring in some of your favorite childhood TV shows, ghostwriting some of the catchiest songs amongst your most beloved guilty pleasures, and producing some of his city’s most promising musical acts. Needless to say, the Guv can bring the goods, and it was only a matter of time before he started his own label. Bad Actors will serve as a stepping-stone to bigger things for young acts, while offering them an opportunity to work closely with one of Toronto’s most creative and energetic musical forces. Upcoming releases on Bad Actors include records from industrial punk freaks Ell V Gore, guitar pop masterminds Actual Water, weirdo soul-goddess MCs Bizzarh, 17 year old producer extraordinaire Harrison and Cook’s own Yacht Club.

Tour With Dirty Beaches:

9/4 – Montreal, QC – SAT
9/6 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
9/8 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
9/9 – Philedelphia, PA – Johnny Brendas
9/11 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison
9/12 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
9/13 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird
9/14 – Nashville, TN – Exit In
9/15 – Birmingham, AL – Bottletree

Praise For Ell V Gore:

“Surging out of the cave like the Birthday Party trying to cover Joy Division’s “Transmission”, [Lobotomy] strikes a masterful balance of barked psychosis and mechanistic precision, of primitive trash-can clang and synth-shocked futurism.”–Pitchfork

“Noisy, viciously catchy no wave from this wonderful Toronto weirdo” — Noisey

scuzzy, gothy post-punk you might expect given what you’ve read to this point. Fans of The Birthday Party, Wire, The Cramps and all things WIERD take note” — Brooklyn Vegan

“[Lobotomy’s] a vicious single that sniffs the glue that built Ty Segall’s Melted and drills cascading rhythms into the back of your head” –Blare Magazine

Susanne Sundfør Announces US Tour, Video Contest

Norwegian songstress Susanne Sundfør is excited to announce a fall US tour, her first stateside string of dates. She will bring her original breed of dark electronic music and beguiling vocals that has drawn critical acclaim throughout the world, following her success in native Norway where her album The Silicone Veil reached # 1 in 2012 and became the biggest selling album of the year. Full tour dates are below.

Additionally, she is inviting fans to create the official video for ‘Among Us’ off The Silicone Veil by uploading their videos to http://genero.tv/susannesundfor by September 17th. The winner will also win $4,000. The winner and finalists will be chosen by Susanne Sundfør and Genero.

Susanne Sundfør Tour Dates:
9/23 – Bardot – Hollywood, CA
9/25 – Bootleg Theater – Los Angeles, CA
9/26 – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA
9/28 – Glasslands – Brooklyn, NY
9/30 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY

Praise for Susanne Sundfør & The Silicone Veil:

“Thick with mythology and dark as a nighttime thicket.” – Pitchfork “Best New Track”

“The Silicone Veil” is leftfield pop, a thrilling effort. It’s icy, gothic, and strange,
with moments of intentional dissonance.” – Billboard

“A shiny-voiced Norwegian pop star” – Rolling Stone

“A haunting, contradiction-filled work” – MTV

“Single-mindedness and a clear artistic vision coincide,
making Sundfør utterly arresting.” – Mojo ****

“Sundfor has a fantastically powerful, window-bending face-melter of a voice….
it’s quite stunning.”- Q

“If there is a more beautiful and ambitious song this year than ‘White Foxes’…
well, there just isn’t.”. – Uncut ****

“A breathtaking collection of spectral songs… she staked a claim to be the new Bjork. The Silicone Veil’s title track could have taught Florence Welsh a valuable trick…” – The Times UK *****

Wildcat! Wildcat! in new documentary with Passion Pit + tour with MS MR

WILDCAT! WILDCAT!’S DEBUT EP SET FOR SEPTEMBER 10 RELEASE VIA DOWNTOWN RECORDS

BAND FEATURED IN NEW SAM JONES DIRECTED FEED THE BEAT DOCUMENTARY, “HELLO EVERYWHERE” WITH PASSION PIT

TOUR CONFIRMED PLUS MSMR DATES

“MR. QUICHE” PREMIERES AT NYLON

“MGMT-esque spacey psych pop, and ethereal vocal pitter-patter with ease.”—Pitchfork

“A group on the up-and-up that may end up in your iTunes regular rotation before you know it.”—Huffington Post

The self-titled debut EP from acclaimed LA-based band Wildcat! Wildcat! is set for September 10 release on Downtown Records. The band garnered critical praise for their previously released sold-out limited addition 7” on the taste-making label Neon Gold Records, including early support from BBC Radio 1 in the U.K. TIME raves, “I love the staccato electronic rock, I love the frantic opening measures, I love the fleeting falsetto in the background,” while Metro furthers they’re “the best overall new band.” To celebrate the release, the band will embark on a nationwide tour starting in September including select dates with MSMR. See reverse for details.

On August 25, Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat music program will release a new documentary titled “Hello Everywhere.” Directed by Sam Jones, the film follows Wildcat! Wildcat! and Passion Pit throughout SXSW 2013, documenting their experiences at the festival—one as an emerging, developing band and the other as a more established band. See the film’s trailer at FeedTheBeat.com and a teaser clip here http://bit.ly/13ZBpOV.

The new EP was written and produced by the band in their home studios over the course of the last year and a half. The first single “Mr. Quiche” can be streamed/shared at http://bit.ly/14HOhVr. Of the songs Jesse Carmichael (vocals, drums) notes, “Some came quicker than others but all of them provided us the time to try out different processes of collaboration and understand how and why we make the kind of music that we make together.” See below for full track listing.

Wildcat! Wildcat! is Jesse Taylor (vocals, bass), Michael Wilson (vocals, keys) and Carmichael. The trio played together in various incarnations before officially forming Wildcat! Wildcat! in 2012. The band has toured extensively including SXSW, a sold out west coast headlining run and major U.S. support slots with Alt-J and Portugal. The Man.

WILDCAT! WILDCAT! TRACK LISTING
1. The Chief
2. Garden Grays
3. Mr. Quiche
4. Please & Thank You

Wildcat! Wildcat! Tour Dates

September 18 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
September 19 Chicago, IL Schuba’s
September 20 Detroit, MI Magic Stick Lounge
September 21 Toronto, ON Wrong Bar
September 22 Rochester, NY Bug Jar
September 24 Washington, DC DC9
September 25 Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle
September 26 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands Gallery
September 28 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
September 29 Boston, MA Great Scott
October 3 Nashville, TN High Watt
October 4 Murfreesboro, TN Earmilk Festival
October 15 San Francisco, CA The Independent*
October 17-18 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour*
October 19 San Diego, CA Soda Bar*
October 23 Vancouver, BC Venue Nightclub*
October 24 Seattle, WA The Crocodile*

*with MSMR

Mount Kimbie Release Video for “Home Recording”

Cold Spring Fault Less Youth Out Now Via Warp Mount Kimbie Tour North America This Fall

“The duo was incredibly precise . . . in a live setting, there really is no one else out there quite like Mount Kimbie.” Village Voice

“Dancing to Mount Kimbie is like dancing to architecture: it feels like their compositions have hidden passages, back doors, and sky lights, beaming in sneakily beautiful, sun-kissed melodies. They are a modest band making audacious, idiosyncratic music, and I cherished seeing it live.” The Stranger

Having released their acclaimed sophomore record, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, on Warp earlier this summer, Mount Kimbie have released a vivid, textured video for single, “Home Recording.” Directed by Anthony Dickenson, Rolling Stone hailed the video, “with its elegant blend of jazzy ambiences and dubstep textures, the album conjures vivid imagery by itself . . . Dickenson has created a perfect companion for the music’s evocative drift.”

Building on the success of their debut album, Crooks and Lovers, Mount Kimbie have established themselves as ambitious artists in the experimental arena of electronic music, adding rich textures to layered melodies and on this record, live instrumentation that expands their scope of sound.

The FADER call Cold Spring Fault Less Youth a “subtle epic” while SPIN acknowledge that it “maintains a sense of understated complexity, it’s very different from its predecessor . . . the increased presence of live percussion has created a larger, more organic sound, one now oriented towards the dance floor.” The recently released video for “You Took Your Time (feat. King Krule)” is a bleak, captivating black and white portrait of intertwined characters that results in what Pitchfork calls “something of a grime ballad.”

The duo will be touring North America this Fall, including dates at Seattle’s Decibel Festival with Nicolas Jaar, as well as Mutek Mexico and Asheville’s Mountain Oasis Festival.

Mount Kimbie North American Fall Tour Dates

09.22.13 – Symbiosis Gathering Fest – Oakdale, CA
09.23.13 – Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA
09.24.13 – Porters Pub – San Diego, CA
09.25.13 – DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA
09.27.13 – Decibel Festival (Showbox Sodo) – Seattle, WA
09.28.13 – Venue – Vancouver, BC
09.29.13 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
09.30.13 – Neurolux – Boise, ID
10.02.13 – Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
10.03.13 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
10.05.13 – Mutek MX – Mexico City, MX
10.07.13 – The Sinclair – Boston, MA
10.08.13 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
10.09.13 – Black Cat – Washington, DC
10.11.13 – The Loft – Atlanta, GA
10.12.13 – Jack Rabbits – Jacksonville, FL
10.13.13 – Club Downunder – Tallahassee, FL
10.14.13 – The Social – Orlando, FL
10.15.13 – Bardot – Miami, FL
10.17.13 – Republic – New Orleans, LA
10.18.13 – Walters – Houston, TX
10.19.13 – Red 7 – Austin, TX
10.20.13 – Club Dada – Dallas, TX
10.22.13 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
10.23.13 – The Basement – Columbus, OH
10.26.13 – Carnegie Mellon – Pittsburgh, PA
10.27.13 – Mountain Oasis Festival – Asheville, NC

Charli XCX’s US headline dates moved to Oct/Nov– to join UK arena tour w/ Paramore

21-year-old Charlotte Aitchison aka Charli XCX reveals she will join Paramore on their upcoming UK arena headline tour in September—which unfortunately means the scheduled North American fall headline tour will be postponed until the end of October/November, 2013.

“I’m very happy to have been asked to support Paramore on their UK tour. I’ve never really done shows in the UK outside of London before so it’s going to be something different and kind of scary for me. Of course I am really, truly so so sorry to everyone who got tickets to my US shows, as now I will have to reschedule those dates and I hate the fact that I will have let lots of people down. It’s weird, I always feel strangely at home when I play shows in America and the fans I have out there are literally the best, most killer fans in the world. I’m upset that you guys are going to be disappointed and annoyed at me, as I really did have big things planned for this tour, so it’s very sad. I’m working really hard to reschedule the dates right now and all I can promise you is that the shows will be even bigger and better than anything I’ve ever done before” –Charli XCX

Following what’s been an incredible year, having released her breakthrough debut album “TRUE ROMANCE” (via IAMSOUND) to rave reviews, including a ‘Best New Music’ mark from Pitchfork; having written her first #1 single ‘I Love It’ for Swedish duo Icona Pop, which has gone on to sell over 3 million copies worldwide; and moreover, Charli is currently writing in the studio with some of the biggest names in pop. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for a revised US routing! Replay the single, “You (Ha Ha Ha)” here:

CHARLI XCX on TOUR
*9/20-9/28 supporting Paramore except
8/23 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
8/25 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
9/20 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester MEN Arena
9/21 – Cardiff, UK @ Cardiff Arena
9/23 – Birmingham, UK @ Birmingham LG Arena
9/24 – Nottingham, UK @ Nottingham Capital FM Arena
9/27 – London, UK @ TBC
9/28 – London, UK @ TBC
10/5 – Vienna, Austria @ Waves Vienna Festival*
10/27 – Las Vegas, NV @ Vegas Festival
TBD – US HEADLINE DATES TO BE RELEASED SOON*
11/30 – London, UK @ London Islington Academy

Van Dyke Parks – Songs Cycled

Van Dyke Parks has not released an album in so long and is so old, that all of his fans are either dead or have long since moved on. His new album, Songs Cycled (Bella Union), is a sort of continuation from his last original work written 18 years ago, Songs Cycle. Despite a very consistent style and specific vision for this new work, what we actually hear sounds like a lonesome old man looking to make friends with his outdated vaudevillian act. The album is fully loaded with witty and political lyrics, along with both wry and sentimental melodies, unmistakably a classic Van Dyke Parks composition. The only real intriguing aspect of the album is the line up of critiques waiting to praise his ‘theatrical genius’ and ‘re-inovation of the americana music genre’. However, having a formidable career that deserves praise, does not mean you get to crap gold records for the rest of your life.

Songs Cycled is really a collection of musical pieces that Parks has been either sitting on or thinking about over the years. It comes closer to existing as an album of b-sides from the past 40 plus years of his musical career, replete with covers, re-recordings and some new songs. Even though the album sounds like a nostalgic rehashing of Parks style it is really his strict opinion of current musical themes and values. A sort of op-ed piece to what he believes is the true path music should be following, a path however, most people wouldn’t even give the time of day to support. In the end what Van Dyke Parks (an very impressive name, especially as its his birth name) should be focusing his energies on are some of the epic collaborations he has been involved with over the past years, such as helping Joanna Newsom on her acclaimed album Ys and hanging out with bands like Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear. He currently has a handful of tour dates scheduled in both Europe and the States however, I wouldn’t hold your breath on Parks traveling your way anytime soon, it would likely interfere with his afternoon nap schedule.

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper Interview

A small little girl from Brunswick, Maine by the name of Aly Spaltro had the dream and the desire to get her sound out to the world. In a surprisingly short period of time, she’s accomplished a rather incredible amount of hype, a number of EP’s, mixtapes, music videos, a newly released full-length studio album, and a now growing group of invested fans that hang off her every word. Not bad for a 23 year old in the world of indie rock (hers is more eerie at times and always more interesting than most, so it may not actually be that surprising to anyone, really). I thought, as I was new to her sound and her music that I’d start at the beginning. And that’s just what I did.

Back in Brunswick, Maine, your hometown, did you have musical chops as a child or was it more of a performance deal for young Lady Lamb?

Lady Lamb: I had musical leanings but never any desire to perform. It was basically just an obsession with music from an early age. Between the two of them, my parents listened to a very eclectic mix; my mother loved the 80’s or classical music pretty much exclusively and then my dad listened classic rock, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and all those guitar heroes.

And then…

… Oh! And then when I was five I lived in Arizona. My next door neighbour was my babysitter: she was 13 and kind of a weird kid and really into the Beatles, late Beatles, you know?

The more experimental Beatles…

Absolutely. White Album and all that. We hung out a lot and became good friends, which made me a very strange five year-old! So we would just sit around and listen to The White Album and Rubber Soul all the time and through that I started listening to “oldies radio” on my own. I started making mix-tapes cause I was really into The Supremes, Mamas and The Papas, Leslie Gore, Otis Redding… basically everything on oldies radio stations.

So it was just an obsession at that point?

For sure. I didn’t have any desire to really play it, I didn’t think of it that way. I was a shy kid to begin with so I never wanted to perform or be in talent shows or sing or take lessons or anything like that.

And your first recordings, kind of show that shyness. You recorded it all yourself, packaged them all yourself, brought them to your local record store; you did everything on your own. Was that more of an experiment or did it just get to a point where you needed to start sharing what you were creating?

It was both but it really started as a way for me to express myself in a way that was really focused and dedicated. I wrote a lot of poetry in high school and I wanted to do something, honestly, with my year, because I took a gap year between highschool and college, and I wanted to do something that was really involved before college. I taught myself how to play and started singing at that point and for the first few months I had no desire to share any of it. But then, after packaging it up and giving a bit away for free I really just sort of fell into [the industry] by accident. I started performing and really getting something out of that which I don’t think I expected.

Did you feel you really had any specific pushes to get more into the spotlight and stray from that shy girl you were as a kid?

I never felt any “pressure” from anyone I knew really. I worked at an independent DVD rental store for four years and they became my second family. My boss at that store was a huge film and music buff and after hearing my stuff he was the first to really encourage me to play a show. And then my dad told me to try but it was really up to me and it took me a long time to get up the courage to get on stage.

Typing your name into any search engine, a whole lot of videos come up and many from early on in your career. For someone self-admittedly shy, do you feel there’s something visually you need to present with your music as well as lyrically?

It has to do with a number of things. I know that “I” as a music fan want to see artist’s visuals. If I’m checking out a band for the first time I will most likely look up a music video. And it comes from that; it comes from being a fan and thinking that video is an integral part to the art. Also, as a kid I loved to draw, paint, collage, make movies, and all that so naturally the visual came ingrained, for me, in the music. It makes me feel really lucky that I’m doing something that I love that has room for other mediums as well.

In just about all of your videos, although serious at times depending on the subject of the lyrics, there seems to be an undercurrent of light heartedness. Is that and uncontrollable element of your personality just breaking through or is that something planned that you want in your music and your creative process?

Well, in the case of the videos, it’s probably just me coming through. I have this one video where it’s a one-take, pretty serious video called “Between Two Trees” where I’m just standing in front of a wall… I’m singing along (so that it doesn’t just look like I’m lip-synching), I’m singing in the room but then I mess up the lyrics. I got all flustered, laughed, but then kept singing. That happened, so why do the take again, you know? Just let it be, because I’m a little silly so just keep that in there.

Your album Mammoth Swoon, a 2010 release, received some well-deserved attention for being a pieced together album of demos and b-sides. Did that come together naturally for you?

That I put out myself and is just a mix of stuff. It wasn’t really meant to be released it was honestly meant as something I wanted to leave with Portland, Maine when I left for New York. But then when I moved I needed something to give to people so I kind of just kept making it and so any press it got wasn’t intentional. I mean I didn’t even have a publicist until this newest record.

Working so much on your own, do you find that knowing more about the business side of the industry; booking shows, handling publicity, etc. is something you’re pleased about or are you just happy to leave that up to others now?

I’m super pleased I learned that way! I don’t know if other artists really talk about this but for me, I’m first in line to hear about anything and everything that comes through about my music cause that’s the way I like it. I like answering e-mails and talking directly with promoters and publicists because that’s just part of my personality! I wouldn’t have it any other way, really.

Your newest and first studio album Ripely Pine (released May 2013) having dropped now, do you have expectations for the work?

I made sure to not have any expectations what-so-ever. I’ve learned in my life that it’s a pretty good rule to not have any expectations on anything you do, or people for that matter. You make these high expectations and then you’re disappointed. So I decided that if I went into the studio with that [expectation filled] attitude that I would end up making something that wasn’t entirely honest because I’d likely be too focused on what other people thought. Pleasing others, hoping to get good reviews, stuff like that I tried not to think about at all. In that way, I’ve made something that I’m ultra proud of and I worked for more than a year on this because, well, I had the luxury to work with my producer for that long, but also because I didn’t want to cap it until it was fully finished. I needed to work on it until I knew that I wouldn’t have a single regret about the way it was made and that’s what happened. This sounds so… I don’t know… but the feeling of finishing it and the fact that it took so long, so much hard work, sweat and tears and all that, and just the joy that it’s done and it’s real and it’s out and now the rest doesn’t matter, really. So to really answer your question, because I had no expectations I’m pleasantly, pleasantly surprised and I’m very happy that people seem to really like it and are responding to it.

Touring for this release seems pretty hectic by the looks of your schedule. You mentioned earlier that you’ve got a three week break coming up; do you feel that needs to be a “re-charge and relax” break or can you just not shut the creativity faucet off?

I haven’t written a song in a long time because I’ve just been in a different space: “Work this record. Tour. Go. Go. Go!” you know? So I’ve been feeling the urge to write again. I was on tour in Europe before this and the urge started there and when that happens generally the lyrics come first for me. I can’t just grab a guitar and go, I write a lot of poetry and then when I get home I put music to it. I’ve written a lot of lyrics in the last month that I’m really excited to use the three weeks coming up to get home and put music to. I’m also gonna eat a tonne of Brooklyn food. That’s number one [laughs].

On your website you have a section called “In The Books” where you can scroll through random pages of some of your notebooks. Is that just a fun outlet for you in posting that?

I can’t remember how that came about but I just thought that might be a really intimate thing that people might appreciate. As a music fan I know I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to see a musicians notebook or scribbles on song or the original lyrics to a song by the Beatles or something like that?” That’s so amazing to look at! There’s a lot of personality in the way a person writes and what they’re saying when they’re just writing in a notebook and not thinking about two years down the road when it gets posted on the internet or whatever. What I really like about it is that there are the “beginnings” to a lot of songs in there randomly. The beginnings of ideas from years ago are in there that ended up in this record and that’s pretty neat.

In terms of future dates, you’ve got Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC as your last posted date this year. Another break then or is that just as far into the future as the site has been updated?

That’s in early September, ya. I would like to have the month of September mostly off because I’m planning a tonne of stuff after that. It’s not up yet but I’ll be touring again in October, November, December at least!

Touring for this new album seems to be taking up all your time but is there something upcoming that you’re really excited about in terms of releasing a single, a new video, some more b-sides possibly?

I’m definitely getting to the point where I’m itching to make another video so I’m keeping my mind open in terms of thinking up concepts for another video. I’d also just love to go back into my studio where I made Ripely Pine and do a cover. Maybe a duet cover with a guy [quickly adds]… friend… in New York. I’ve been thinking a lot about doing a Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks cover. I think that’d be really fun to put out just for no reason other than just to do it. We could just nail it in a day then put it on the internet…

… Just let the creative muse fly, right?

Absolutely!

Pay attention, oh muses. This New Yorker may put you out of the business Lady Lamb The Beekeeper’s music continues to be creative, full of personality, charm, and, seemingly, there’s no end in sight.

Ripely Pine is available on iTunes and more than likely multiple physical copies can be found at that little record store in Portland, Maine along with a throng of happy fans!